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Tips For Choosing a Kitchen Faucet

Tips For Choosing a Kitchen Faucet

Kitchen faucets are used and abused.  Not only do they need to function properly, but they also need to look great!  Read on for some tips on how to select the best one for your lifestyle and your home…

While the kitchen sink is also an important part of your kitchen, the faucet can really add style to the room.  But, there are so many styles, colors and configurations on the market today, how do you choose which one is best for you?

First, think about the faucet you have now and those you have lived with in the past.  What did you like about them, and what did you hate about them?  This simple exercise will help you narrow your search right away.  Before you focus on style, however, take a look at the function of your faucet.

I have found that while some homeowners swear by a one-handled, lever faucet, other folks would rather have a two-handled version.  Today, you can even find faucets that require only motion or a touch to turn them on or off.  Choose the option that works best for you and the way you use your kitchen.  A one-handled faucet is easier to adjust, while a two-handled faucet sometimes offers more style options.  Consider the number of holes the faucet will require in your countertop, as well.  A one-handled faucet only requires one hole in the sink or countertop (and only one item to clean around!).

one-handle kitchen faucet

Delta "Leland" One-Handled Kitchen Faucet, Photo Courtesy Bellacor

Think, too, about the options you like best.  Do you need a sprayer?  If so, do you prefer a faucet with an integral sprayer (attached to the spout itself) or a sprayer mounted separately to the countertop?  You will also find options such as soap dispensers and hot water dispensers all available to match or coordinate with your faucet choice.

The spout of the faucet is another consideration.  While some faucets stay low to the sink, others arch high in the air, offering ample room for large pots underneath.  Be aware, though, that a high-arc faucet will splash more than a lower faucet spout will; choose a deeper sink to minimize the effects of this problem.  And, be sure that the faucet you choose will reach into all the bowls of your sink!  Some larger sinks require a larger faucet to reach into all the bowls properly.

Kohler two-handled kitchen faucet

Kohler "Torq" Modern Two-Handled Kitchen Faucet, Photo Courtesy Bellacor

The configuration is also important – especially if you will not be replacing your sink or countertops.  The faucet will either come with an 8″ center spacing (which means the 2 handles are 8″ apart), which requires three holes in the sink/countertop, or a one-hole configuration.  If you have three holes already drilled in your countertop, but you want to buy a one-hole faucet, be sure to purchase an “escutcheon” with your faucet; this is a plate that will cover the other holes in your sink or countertop.  Most faucets have an escutcheon option available.  Some faucets are wall-mounted, but these require specific plumbing configurations; be sure to consult a plumber if you wish to add a wall-mounted faucet to your kitchen.

Once you’ve decided on the function you prefer, take a look at the style of the faucet.  Not only do you need to choose a color or finish, but you also need to look at the shape of the piece.  Use the style of the kitchen to help you make a choice.  If your kitchen is traditional in style, look for a faucet with an antique look – not something sleek and modern.  Take a look at the lines of your kitchen light fixtures and cabinet hardware.  Are they curly, scrolled or floral?  Or, do they have simple, square or straight lines?  Choose a faucet with similar lines for the most coordinated look.

Danze wall faucet in chrome

Danze "Opulence" Chrome Wall-Mount Kitchen Faucet, Photo Courtesy Bellacor

Once you have a faucet, the final consideration is color or finish.  Chrome is typically the least expensive faucet finish option, and also one of the most durable and easy to clean finishes.  Bronze, pewter, stainless steel and brushed nickel have all been popular faucet finish options recently, as well.  Again, choose a finish that coordinates with the other metal finishes (lighting and cabinet hardware) in the room.  Also, be sure to consider the sink color when choosing your faucet; while you can successfully pair a bronze faucet with a stainless steel sink, be sure this mix of metal finishes appeals to you.  (You do NOT need to use stainless finishes on your sink or faucet simply because you have stainless steel appliances).

Kitchen faucets – and, really, plumbing products in general – are a place where “you get what you pay for.”  If you choose a $50 faucet from the local big box store, chances are good that it will not last very long.  Plan to spend several hundred dollars on a good model if you plan to have it for more than a couple of years.  Look for well-known brand names for best results, and be sure you understand the components in the faucet.  For example, a heavy brass faucet will be of higher-quality than one made of plastic (yes – they exist!).  The more a faucet costs, typically, the better quality it will be.  Brands such as Delta, Moen, Danze, Kohler, Grohe and Rohl offer some of the best faucets on the market, and they are available in a range of prices, finishes and qualities.

Chosen carefully, a kitchen faucet can offer you years of beauty and function.  Look for quality features, coordinated finishes and styles that fit perfectly in your home for the very best results.

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